January – March champions
Kalie Wolfinger, Care Coordinator
Department: Care Management
Campus: Flagstaff Medical Center
Kalie identified a transportation resource, Circulation, which is a digital platform linking the hospital system to non-emergency transportation. She recognized that transportation was a barrier to discharge AND prevented patients from receiving needed follow-up care. She researched alternate options and brought Circulation to her department leadership. Care Management has partnered with Circulation and will be using them to book our Patient Assistance Fund rides. The transportation will be less expensive, more reliable and more responsive. The department will be rolling out Circulation in the next few weeks and had our first training session today. This innovative idea will eventually impact all areas of NAH… inpatient, ED, Outpatient service, clinics, etc…Thank you Kalie for sharing your idea! Truly Amazing!
April – June champions
Noah Jones, Transporter and Evangeline‚ Yazzie, Patient Care Technician
Department: Nursing Services and CVICU
Campus: Flagstaff Medical Center
Noah Jones and his mother, Patient Care Technician Vangie Yazzie, were driving home from work when they found an injured pedestrian lying on a rural road who had been hit by a car. They stopped so Noah could call Emergency Services and direct traffic while Vangie put pressure on the man’s head wound and kept him awake and talking. They stayed with the man until police, paramedics and a medical helicopter arrived. The man was airlifted to FMC’s Trauma Center for emergency surgery and several days in the ICU.
Thanks to Noah and Vangie for their quick response and expert care, and for living our values outside the four walls of the hospital.
Trista MacVittie, Director Communications
Campus: Verde Valley Medical Center
One day Trevor Roberson, a diabetic, did not appear for a routine meeting of the Communications staff. Trista’s call to his home awakened him. He was incoherent; unable to speak or answer the phone due to a dangerously low blood sugar level. Trista continued to call him, but Trevor was unable to even mutter the word “help.” In the meantime, Trevor crawled to his kitchen, while pushing the phone in front of him. Trying to get some fruit juice into his system to raise his blood sugar, he collapsed by the refrigerator and lost consciousness. When he awakened, he was able to respond to Trista’s text messages with the word “help.” Trista was in the Verde Valley and a call to 911 would have been routed locally instead of in Flagstaff, so she asked a team member in Flagstaff to contact 911 to dispatch the police and Guardian Medical Transport to Trevor’s home. Trista continued to text Trevor with words of encouragement and to tell him that help was on the way. The emergency responders were able to stabilize Trevor and transport him to FMC where his blood sugar and overall physical condition was normalized. Thanks to Trista for her quick instincts, caring nature and unyielding determination.
July – September champions
Sarah Wright, Audiologist
Department: Children’s Health Center
Campus: FMC Value: Show compassion
Only 18 percent of kids who qualify for free school meals get free summer meals. Knowing the scope of this problem, Sarah reached out to St. Mary’s Food Bank and created the Summer Café to ensure that all Children’s Health Center patients – and their siblings – were eligible to receive a free meal for two months. This equaled approximately 950 meals. Sarah, with her compassionate quest to build community, helped ensure NAH is doing its part to feed the communities of Northern Arizona.
Alba Bryan, Barista
Department: Code Bean/Gift Shop
Campus: VVMC Value: Be better together
Many colleagues at VVMC know Alba in the Code Bean coffee shop. Alba makes it her purpose each and every day to touch each individual who comes into the shop in a personal way. She is kind and compassionate with our patients and visitors, going out of her way to find items they need or help them get where they need to go. She always shares a positive message or thank you. When it comes to colleagues, she knows all the regulars by name and can tell you what beverage they will likely be ordering. She makes each colleague feel special even if just for a moment in time. Even when the orders are stacked and she is the only person working, Alba takes the time to say hello to each person entering the café and strives to make sure that no one is waiting too long. When training other team members, she is patient, detailed, and thorough. She is intentional and purposeful in all her interactions. Thank you, Alba, for exemplifying NAH values as you care for your colleagues.
October – December champions
Department: Medical Imaging
Campus: VVMC Value: Be Better Together
A sharp eye can save a life. When Irma compared images of a patient’s breast to those taken a few years ago, she became suspicious about a specific area. Irma advocated for bringing the patient back for further imaging. The images determined the spot was very suspicious and the patient was referred for a biopsy, which revealed invasive breast cancer. According to breast surgeon Dr. Beth Dupree, because Irma acted in the best interest of the patient, she will enjoy an excellent outcome.
Gretchen Lerch, charge RN, Pediatrics/PICU; Colleen Little, clinical manager, Pediatrics; and Amy Nunemaker, charge RN, Critical Care
Departments: Pediatrics/PICU; Critical Care
Campus: FMC Value: Show Compassion
Losing a loved one is heartbreaking for a family. Making the difficult choice to have that loved one become an organ donor, however, leaves a legacy of lifesaving generosity. To honor a pediatric patient and his family for this selfless gift, Gretchen, Colleen and Amy created the Hero in the House Walk of Honor. These nurse leaders worked quickly to inform FMC staff about the event and ask them to participate – and more than 240 staff members arrived to line the hall to the operating room for the very first Walk. This created a special opportunity for staff to make meaningful connections with patients, families and the community at large. Thanks to Gretchen, Colleen and Amy for doing the unexpected and exceeding all expectations.